Legendary singer and songwriter Ozzy Osbourne recently revealed that doctors had discovered a tumor in one of his vertebrae.
Doctors discovered and subsequently removed the tumor last year when he “underwent a fourth bout of spinal surgery to remedy the damage inflicted by a fall in 2019 which dislodged the metal rods that were put into his body after a serious quad bike crash at his Buckinghamshire home in 2003,” according to Rolling Stone magazine.
“It’s really knocked me about. The second surgery went drastically wrong and virtually left me crippled. I thought I’d be up and running after the second and third, but with the last one they put a f–king rod in my spine,” he told the outlet in an interview.
“They found a tumor in one of the vertebrae, so they had to dig all that out too. It’s pretty rough, man, and my balance is all f–ked up,” he added.
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) November 25, 2023
He’s been through a lot, and as a result, he hasn’t performed in quite some time — not since 2018, in fact.
“[T]he numerous surgeries and setbacks have left Ozzy’s fans wondering if we’ll ever see the Prince of Darkness back on stage again. A brief glimmer of hope emerged when he did a surprise hometown performance at the closing ceremony of the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022, but another bout of surgery forced him to officially confirm his retirement from touring at the beginning of the year,” Rolling Stone notes.
Osbourne believes returning to the stage is perhaps possible, but he remains doubtful.
“I’m taking it one day at a time, and if I can perform again, I will,” he said. “But it’s been like saying farewell to the best relationship of my life. At the start of my illness, when I stopped touring, I was really pissed off with myself, the doctors, and the world. But as time has gone on, I’ve just gone, ‘Well, maybe I’ve just got to accept that fact.’”
“I’m not going to get up there and do a half-hearted Ozzy looking for sympathy. What’s the f–king point in that? I’m not going up there in a f–king wheelchair. I’ve seen Phil Collins perform recently, and he’s got virtually the same problems as me. He gets up there in a wheelchair! But I couldn’t do that.”
One thing that does trouble him though is that if he doesn’t get to perform again, he won’t have a chance to thank his fans.
“That’s one of the things I’ve been the most f–king pissed off at: I never got the chance to say goodbye or thank you. Because my fans are what it’s all about. If I can just do a few gigs… They’ve been loyal to me for f–king years. They write to me, they know all about my dogs,” he said.
“It’s my extended family really, and they give us the lifestyle we have. For whatever reason, that’s my goal to work to. To do those shows. If it’s at Ozzfest or somewhere, or even a f–king gig at the Roundhouse. If I can’t continue doing shows on a regular basis, I just want to be well enough to do one show where I can say, ‘Hi guys, thanks so much for my life.’ That’s what I’m working towards, and if I drop down dead at the end of it, I’ll die a happy man.”
. @OzzyOsbourne is @RollingStoneUK’s Icon Award-winner
“I want to be well enough to do one show where I can say ‘hi guys, thanks so much for my life.’ If I drop down dead at the end of it, I’ll die a happy man”https://t.co/j7AaA3dIXs pic.twitter.com/uf4G46EvOH
— The Osbournes (@TheOsbournesTV) November 24, 2023
That said, all the surgeries and other medical issues have also affected his family.
“It’s been nearly five years of heartache, and at times I’ve just felt so helpless and so bad for Ozzy, to see him going through the pain,” his wife, Sharon, told Rolling Stone.
“He’s gone through all these operations and the whole thing has felt like a nightmare. He hasn’t lost his sense of humor, but I look at my husband, and he’s here while everyone else is out on the road. This is the longest time he hasn’t ever worked for. Being at home for so long has been so foreign to him,” she added.
It’s also, it appears, inspired him to embrace his mortality.
“I don’t fear dying, but I don’t want to have a long, painful and miserable existence. I like the idea that if you have a terminal illness, you can go to a place in Switzerland and get it done quickly. I saw my father die of cancer,” he said.
“But look, I said to Sharon that I’d smoked a joint recently and she said, ‘What are you doing that for! It’ll f–king kill you!’ I said, ‘How long do you want me to f–king live for?!’ At best, I’ve got ten years left and when you’re older, time picks up speed. Me and Sharon had our 41st wedding anniversary recently, and that’s just unbelievable to me!” he added.
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